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Today's News

  • Ask Fr. John: Sharing some thoughts on Black Friday

    What is your take on so-called “Black Friday?” — A. L. H.

    One’s desire to give gifts to loved ones is not problematic — at all. Also, the desire to get good deals and save money is not wrong. I say save where you can.
    After all, we are called to responsible stewardship and frugality. However, I think many Orthodox Christians find Black Friday problematic because it manifests certain materialistic tendencies in our secularized culture.
    What constitutes problematic materialism? Huge amounts of attention to material “stuff” and less concern for God and neighbor. It is not hard to observe that every major corporation and store has exploited “Black Friday,” making it into a veritable holiday.
    It is now advertised as the day we go out and spend more money to get better deals. On this day, many people will go to great lengths to get the last sale item.
    We may sacrifice peace of mind and soul. By risking encounters and even possible fights, just to get the last sale item, we risk upsetting the sense of fellowship that we attained at the Thanksgiving table. We all know the stories of our neighbor getting trampled and killed during the opening rush into a store to find the best deal. What is this?

  • Local Courts: On the Docket 11-23-12

    Charles L. Builta was found guilty in Los Alamos County Magistrate Court of battery against a household member. The original charge was aggravated assault.
    Builta was ordered to pay $73 in court costs and undergo two years of supervised probation.
    Conditions of probation are defendant will obey all laws and not be arrested or indicted for any other charge during probation. Defendant will obey all court-ordered conditions of probation. Defendant shall not possess or consume alcohol during probation, or enter an establishment that serves liquor. Defendant shall not possess a weapon or destructive device during probation and defendant shall maintain contact with probation officer throughout the probation period. Defendant must also enroll in a year-long domestic violence class, as well as an alcohol treatment program for at least six sessions.

  • Public comment sought on Las Conchas project

    The public is being invited to comment on a proposal to reforest approximately 1,800 to 2,510 acres of national forest system lands that were burned during the 2011 Las Conchas Fire on the Jemez and Española Ranger Districts of the Santa Fe National Forest.

    The purpose of this project is to reestablish forest cover to areas severely damaged by the Las Conchas fire.

    This spring, approximately 425,000 ponderosa pine and Douglas Fir seedlings will be planted on 1,800 to 2,510 acres of land within the Las Conchas Fire perimeter located in the Jemez Mountains west and southwest of Los Alamos.

    Most of the project area is located on the Jemez Ranger District and a small portion, less than 10 percent, on the Española Ranger District. The trees will be planted with hand tools. Ponderosa pine will be planted at 222 trees per acre and Douglas Fir at 302 trees per acre.

    This project is categorically excluded from documentation in an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement. Areas more prone to regrowth with easy access were chosen for this project. Additional environmental analysis will occur in the future, as they continue to assess the burned area for more reforestation opportunities.

  • In Brief 11-23-12

    N.M. woman dies when Fla. dive boat capsizes

    POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A woman visiting South Florida from New Mexico died after a large wave hit a dive boat, causing it to capsize after a Thanksgiving Day dive trip.
    Broward Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Dani Moschella says Nina Poppelsdorf died at a hospital shortly after the catamaran Coral Princess capsized Thursday afternoon. Three others were treated and released. A medical examiner will determine what killed Poppelsdorf.
    Officials say Poppelsdorf was in South Florida with her nephew.
    There were 23 people aboard the 45-foot boat as it returned from a dive trip Thursday. Officials say nearby boaters jumped into the water to pull people to safety. Pompano Beach Fire Rescue workers used personal watercraft to get to the site. The U.S. Coast Guard and other state and local agencies assisted in the rescue.

    Study: Mountain home boom adds to NM plague cases

    ALBUQUERQUE — A new study finds rustic home sites in the mountains east of Albuquerque and in rural Santa Fe County are adding to the number of people infected with plague.

  • Update 11-23-12

    PEO Chapter AK

    P.E.O. Chapter AK will meet at 7 p.m. Nov. 26 at the home of Barbara deNevers. Karla Crane will act as co-hostess. The program will be a report of the projects.

    Film screening

    Friends of the Senior Centers  has purchased a new film for the Vision Challenged. The public is invited to the first showing of “Going Blind, Going Forward.” 10 a.m. Nov. 27  at the Betty Ehart Senior Center in the classroom. More information is available by calling 662-8920.

    Talk

    Ward L. Hawkins, LANL program manager for Nuclear Testing Limitations, will speak at 7 p.m. Nov. 27.  in Room 311 in the Education Building at the United Church, 2525 Canyon Road.

    County Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will meet at 7 p.m. Nov. 27  in council chambers.

    Library Board

    The Los Alamos County Library Board holds regular meetings the first Monday of each month (excluding holidays) at 5:30 p.m. in the Mesa Public Library Board Room or at White Rock Branch Library. The next meeting is Dec. 3.

  • Students find a day to display

    During “UNM-LA on Display: Spotlighting Student Projects,” more than 20 students from the visual arts, humanities, business, science and technology presented projects on what they learned in classes this semester.
    Jackie La New, Accelerate Career Technical advisor at UNM-LA and Dr. Irina Alvestad, chair of the Applied Sciences Department organized the event.
    “We wanted to share what our students are learning with the community,” La New said. Alvestad worked with department chairs and faculty to recruit students to create the presentations.
    Business Administration major David Trimmer modeled a personal investment strategy. Using an imaginary $250,000, he was able to rack up $27,000 in profit in one month.  
    “I learned that each stock has a pattern,” Trimmer said. “For example, one of my stocks seemed to go up around 10 a.m. Stocks are also strongly affected by news that comes out about the company. Monitoring the financial news is crucial.”
    Using a mobile system they built in Photovoltaics I class, Rene Holaday and Doug Hefele ran a power drill with energy stored in the solar array. Holaday and Hefele work together at Los Alamos National Laboratory and share a passionate interest in alternative energy.

  • Resident thankful burglary did not take turn for worse

    For Leslie Pfaff of Los Alamos, it wasn’t a burglary, it was an outright home invasion.

    In the early morning hours of Nov. 11, she, her two teenaged children and a friend of the teens, were upstairs when two burglars broke into the bottom floor of her home. Her husband was out of town at the time.

    “At first, I didn’t think anything of it,” she said. “I knew their friend was leaving early in the morning, so when I heard noises of people moving around downstairs, that’s what I thought it was.”

    What she saw later when she went downstairs was spine-chilling. According to the police report, three laptop computers and an iPad were missing. Together, the items were worth about $2,300.

    “I count my blessings that they just took things that could be replaced and they didn’t come upstairs,” she said.

    If they did come upstairs, Pfaff said, things probably would have been different.

    “To protect my family, what wouldn’t I do,” she said. “Hell hath no fury like a mother protecting her children. Take my stuff, I’m not going to shoot you ... touch my family and you will pray for death.”

    She said the whole experience has left her feeling violated.

  • Crash kills local teen

    A 14-year-old Los Alamos boy was killed and a 13-year-old Los Alamos girl remains in stable condition at UNM Hospital in Albuquerque with non-life threatening injuries after the car in which they were passengers was involved in a head-on collision on N.M. 4 Wednesday afternoon.

    Santa Fe County Sheriff Department Capt. Adan Mendoza confirmed Wednesday night that the fatality was a boy, who was riding in the back seat of a 2009 Honda, driven by Jennifer Ventura-Trujillo, 41, of White Rock.

    The driver of the 2001 Toyota pickup truck was Dennis Bernal, 43, of Santa Fe. Mendoza said that Ventura-Trujillo and the 14-year-old boy were related. It is the policy of the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department not to identify victims under the age of 18.

    However, an obituary posted by a local funeral home has identified the victim as Nikolas Rian Ventura-Arencón. Information contained there indicates he was a Denver Broncos football fan and played all sports. He enjoyed skateboarding, wake-boarding, snowboarding, riding motorcycles, fishing and camping. Ventura-Arencón was a member of Los Alamos High School ROTC and especially loved shooting and drill competitions.

  • Sandia Lab manager dies when Fla. dive boat capsizes

    MIAMI (AP) — A diver from New Mexico who died in a Thanksgiving Day boating accident was a manager at one of the nation's leading research laboratories who was in Florida for a holiday dive trip with her nephew, authorities said Friday.

    The Broward County Medical Examiner ruled Friday that Nina Poppelsdorf, 54, drowned after Thursday when a large wave flipped over a 45-foot catamaran carrying her and nearly two-dozen others.

    The Sandia Park, N.M., woman died at a hospital after the Coral Princess capsized, said Broward Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Dani Moschella. Witnesses said the boat was approaching the Hillsboro Inlet in Pompano Beach when a wave 8 to 10 feet high flipped the twin-hulled craft.

    Poppelsdorf was in Florida with her nephew, who is from Pennsylvania.

  • Raw: White House Christmas Tree Arrives

    First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters were on hand to receive the White House Christmas Tree from a farm in North Carolina.